Paul Weiss

2001 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006-1047
202-223-7340 (direct)
202-204-7395 (direct fax)
202-223-7300 (firm)
202-223-7420 (firm fax)

A partner in the Litigation Department, Beth A. Wilkinson focuses her practice on general litigation and has built a reputation as one of the country’s most talented and respected litigators. Beth has amassed a broad range of experience from the courtroom to the boardroom, with particular emphasis in white-collar criminal defense, internal investigations, product liability and complex civil litigation. She has defended Fortune 500 companies in some of the most business-critical litigations in recent memory.


  • Major League Baseball (MLB) in a nationwide antitrust action by a putative class of purchasers of the MLB Extra Innings and MLB.TV multi-team packages, who claim that MLB violated Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act by allegedly conspiring to prohibit the teams from broadcasting their individual MLB games nationwide in competition with the multi-team packages.
  • Pfizer, the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company:
    • as lead counsel in achieving a complete defense verdict in the first Zoloft birth defects case to go to trial in the U.S. At the conclusion of a seven-day trial, a St. Louis jury returned a verdict in under two hours, rejecting the plaintiff's allegations that a mother's use of Zoloft in the first trimester of her pregnancy caused her child's cardiac birth defect. Most recently, Beth spearheaded the victory for Pfizer in its second Zoloft birth defects case to go to trial in the U.S. wherein at the conclusion of an eight-day trial, a Philadelphia jury returned a complete defense verdict;
    • as lead counsel, in achieving four consecutive jury trial victories in product liability litigation relating to the hormone therapy drug Prempro; and
    • in defending an antitrust case in which plaintiffs claim Pfizer engaged in a patent-stacking scheme to delay generic entry and maintain a monopoly of Neurontin.
  • Federal Trade Commission, appointed to lead its investigation of Google Inc.
  • Kynetic, as lead counsel, in obtaining a complete defense verdict in a breach of contract/tortious interference jury trial.
  • National Football League in connection with its defense of hundreds of lawsuits filed by thousands of former NFL players alleging that the League is liable for purportedly failing to protect the players from the effects of concussions sustained by them while playing professional football.
  • Philip Morris USA, an Altria company, in the company's first "Lights" class action to reach a jury. Plaintiffs claimed they were entitled to billions of dollars of damages for purchasing and smoking Marlboro Lights. A mistrial resulted in no liability for Philip Morris USA.
  • Philip Morris USA in two complex fraud and personal injury trials resulting in complete defense verdicts.
  • A large hospital corporation in various civil cases, including a complex contract and RICO trial.
  • Salt Lake City Organizing Committee in a federal criminal investigation of bribery allegations.
  • Senior officer of a pharmaceutical company in a criminal insider trading investigation.
  • The CEO of a biotechnology company in a DOJ investigation.

Professional History:

Beth joined Paul, Weiss after serving as the executive vice-president, general counsel, and corporate secretary at Fannie Mae. Prior to her in-house position at the mortgage giant, Beth spent eight years as co-chair of the white-collar crime practice group in a major global law firm.

Prior to private practice, Beth was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York, where she prosecuted numerous cases. In 1995, she was a counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, the principal deputy of the Terrorism and Violent Crime Section, when she was asked to be a special attorney to the U.S. attorney general in U.S. v. McVeigh & Nichols. Beth was instrumental in securing the final verdicts against the two men, delivering the closing arguments that resulted in a death sentence for McVeigh, and the summation that led to the conviction of Nichols. After prosecuting U.S. v. McVeigh & Nichols, she became the only two-time recipient of the Department of Justice's highest award.

Beth's legal career began in the U.S. Army, where she attained the rank of captain and served as an assistant to the general counsel of the Army for Intelligence & Special Operations from 1987 to 1991. In 1990, she was appointed as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida to assist with the prosecution of U.S. v. Manuel Noriega.


Beth's work has garnered her national recognition, and her opinions are sought by numerous television news programs and respected magazines and journals. Her insights have been sought by any number of high-profile television programs, such as NBC's TODAY showNightlineThe News Hour with Jim LehrerFace the Nation and Good Morning America, and a variety of magazines and journals including The National Law JournalThe American Lawyer and the Legal Times. Beth has been recognized by The Legal 500 as a Leading Trial Lawyer and a Leading Antitrust Lawyer, and by her peers for The Best Lawyers in America in White Collar Criminal Defense. She is also ranked in Chambers USA 2014 for General Commercial Litigation and White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, where Beth is noted for being "a very dedicated, very thoughtful, first-rate trial attorney." She is also recognized by Chambers USA as a leading, nationwide trial lawyer, and is described as "one of the great trial lawyers in America today." Beth was featured as one of the top 10 female litigators in the United States in Benchmark Litigation's 2014 "Top 250 Women in Litigation." She was also named a National Litigation Star for Antitrust and White-Collar Crime as well as a Local Litigation Star for Washington, D.C. in 2013 and 2014. In 2010, she was named as one of The National Law Journal's "Winning" litigators and as one of "Washington's Most Influential Women Lawyers" by the same publication.

Pro Bono:

Beth is active in a variety of pro bono and community activities as a member of the board of directors of Equal Justice Works. She has been particularly active in the death penalty reform movement, serving as the co-chairman of the Constitution Project's Death Penalty Initiative. Beth has testified before both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on death penalty issues and speaks frequently to groups around the country about her work on the McVeigh trial and issues surrounding the imposition of the death penalty.



  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1987
  • B.A., Princeton University, 1984
    magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York

See Library Tab for articles, publications and presentations by Beth Wilkinson

Related Resources

Sep 25, 2015 | News

California Court Dismisses Antitrust Claims Against Microsoft

Aug 04, 2015 | News

Beth Wilkinson Quoted on Microsoft’s Law Firm Diversity Program

Jun 11, 2015 | News

Apr 17, 2015 | News

Aug 04, 2014 | Videos

11th Hour Trial Tactics

Jul 08, 2014 | News

Pfizer Wins Dismissal of Shareholder Class Action Suit

Jun 24, 2014 | News

Partnership with the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF)

May 07, 2014 | Publications

Blue-Ribbon Panel Proposes Sweeping Reforms of Capital Punishment 

May 02, 2014 | News

Paul, Weiss Achieves Trial Victory for Michael G. Rubin and Kynetic

Apr 22, 2013 | News

Jeh Johnson and Beth Wilkinson Discuss Legal Issues In Boston Bombing

Jun 04, 2012 | News

Activision Blizzard Settles Lawsuit

May 01, 2012 | News

FTC Hires Beth Wilkinson To Lead Google Antitrust Investigation

Mar 06, 2012 | News

Paul, Weiss Wins Fourth Jury Trial in Pfizer Drug Liability Cases

Nov 08, 2011 | News

Paul, Weiss Wins Third Jury Trial in Pfizer Drug Liability Cases

Oct 26, 2011 | News

Philip Morris USA Secures Mistrial in Lights Class Action

Of Note

Dec 22, 2015

The American Lawyer Recognizes Beth Wilkinson as “Litigator of the Year”

Nov 10, 2015

Five Paul, Weiss Partners Win Law360 MVP Awards

Nov 02, 2015

Beth Wilkinson Named “Winning Litigator” by The National Law Journal

Sep 15, 2015

Beth Wilkinson Profiled in Law360 as 2015 Trial Ace

Jul 20, 2015

Beth Wilkinson Named Top Female Litigator by Benchmark

May 22, 2015

Beth Wilkinson Named Chambers USA “Business Trial Lawyer of the Year”

May 04, 2015

Beth Wilkinson Named Outstanding Woman Lawyer by The National Law Journal

Dec 22, 2014

Beth Wilkinson Named a “Litigation Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal

Aug 07, 2014

Susanna Buergel, Michele Hirshman and Beth Wilkinson Named in Benchmark’s “Top 250 Women in Litigation”

Jun 07, 2013

Chambers USA 2013
Ranks Paul, Weiss Highly

Oct 25, 2012

Michele Hirshman and Beth Wilkinson Named to Benchmark's "Top 250 Women in Litigation"

Jul 18, 2012

Beth Wilkinson Named One of National Journal's Most Influential Women

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